Skip To Content

Comic Relief

Red Nose Day

The Challenge

Build a multi-channel digital campaign that encourages new supporters to sign up to fundraise, make a donation or engage with Comic Relief through increased brand awareness.

The Insight

Parents, teachers, workplaces, community groups and supporters as audience pillars to scale activity across objectives.

The Solution

a holistic multichannel fundraising media model that spanned awareness, consideration and conversion to drive income.

Comic Relief appointed us in 2023 on their mission to find a digital agency that could build more agility and testing into their supporter acquisition and digital income model.

The overall campaign objective was to consider how digital channels could increase brand engagement,  supporter acquisition and, ultimately, drive income. Our partnership began with a handraiser campaign to acquire new supporters followed by  a winter fundraising appeal and culminating with an integrated Red Nose Day (RND) campaign in April 2024.

One of the biggest considerations when helping to raise awareness and income for Comic Relief is that they are not a single issue cause. They work with partners to fund projects that support people facing poverty and injustices in the UK and around the world. 

Schools, parents and community fundraising

We put together an audience comprised of the nation assessing individuals who were charitable and seeking to make a positive contribution to society. 

We then applied different ‘lenses’ to our campaign audiences and its content with a focus on schools (nurseries, primary schools & secondary schools), families, workplaces and community fundraising groups (such as choirs) and previous supporters. There were multiple objectives to consider (donating to the campaign, signing up to become a regular giver, purchasing merchandise and fundraising on behalf of the organisation) with the primary objective to drive overall income. 

We worked with data lists to speak to previous supporters or those that looked like them, building on existing insights via their website behaviors and digital engagement with the charity.

Creative was provided by the Comic Relief team featuring a host of talent  including Lenny Henry, David Tennant, Maya Jama and Davinia McCall. We collaborated with their team to ensure we used historic learnings and insights on audiences and creatives to build paid creative that engaged audiences well. 

A holistic fundraising approach

We took a holistic approach to fundraising which we believe is what allowed the campaign to be effective. 

For instance whilst we didn’t see an immediate return on programmatic display, when we switched on display activity we saw a huge increase in searches and, subsequently,  donations via Google Grant and paid search. We found channels were supporting each other with cross conversions happening across strands of activity e.g. donations driving sign ups. 

Print was targeted around key moments such as half term with partnerships including the Primary Times (which ran across 26 regions).

Search proved to be the most effective in driving end donations whilst Meta turned out to be the most impactful channel when it came to recruiting fundraisers.

For the first time this year we tested a regular giving proposition ‘Not just a one night stand’ which offered audiences another way to get involved with the cause online. MumsNet and MSN proved to be effective platforms for conversion. 

The campaign had a media budget of £438,000 allocated across all objectives (awareness, fundraising sign ups, shop purchases, donations) and we raised over £1.5m exceeding their target for both income and sign ups. 

We achieved a Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) of 3.4:1 reaching a peak of 12.5 and £1M+ income on Red Nose Day. For the first year in five years, Comic Relief raised more from digital fundraising and across Red Nose Day – over £40m in total – a 13.5% increase YOY.

We’re delighted by the results of this year’s Red Nose Day digital campaign. The strategic insights and optimisations our partnership with Blue State provided, from campaign brief through to end delivery, were invaluable in its success. The income raised will help us fund more projects supporting people facing poverty and injustice. We’re excited to continue working with Blue State throughout the summer across our Sport Relief campaign and look forward to seeing the results!

Jane Dustan, Paid Media Manager, Comic Relief


  • £1.5m+ Income raised
  • 3.4:1 Overall Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
  • 12:1 Direct ROAS
Ready to talk? Contact Us